Finders Keepers Cotswold Charity Walk Event
Over the first weekend in August nine people took part in a 34-mile walk from Chipping Campden to Cheltenham, stopping overnight in Winchcombe, ‘the jewel in the Cotswold crown’. The event was the idea of Laura Fiddes-Baron, Senior Letting Manager in our Banbury office:
“I hadn’t realised that the British Heart Foundation did so much for stroke research. My dad has a stroke in 2014 and I really wanted to raise funds to help ‘pay back’ the good work that my dad received and also to help people in the future. There is so much good therapy that can be done to help stroke patients and they can make excellent and surprising recoveries.
I decided to organise a walk – rather than taking part in a run or cycle – because running isn’t for everyone and I don’t own a bike to be able to take part in those activities. Walking is something which most people can get involved in and also it can feel more achievable than running a marathon. It is also an amazing way to get fit and tone up – I have lost just over 2 stone since April by walking and I really think it’s an underrated form of exercise!
The route was selected partly because of its proximity, but I have also walked very short sections of it before and so I knew it had some pretty amazing views; it is a national trail and it really is beautiful. I also realised that it was unlikely that nine people would walk at the same pace for 34 miles and it felt safer to walk a well-marked route rather than creating our own route and risking losing people.
We covered 18 miles on the first day and it took around 7 hours or so for everyone to finish. We had a lovely meal together; we were staying at the White Hart Inn at Winchcombe and their sausage and mash was to die for. We also enjoyed a well deserved Prosecco! The next morning we set off at 9am to complete the route – initially in pretty high spirits. Poor Michelle Horner from our Bicester office experienced quite bad blisters after the first day and we ended up splitting up into three smaller groups, all finishing between 3pm and 4.30pm.
The worst bits were the hills – some of them were not only incredibly steep but also really long. It was also quite unpleasant walking on sore feet and hips on day two. I have since learned that the entire Cotswold Way has a total elevation of three times the height of Snowdon!
Aside from the incredible sausage and mash, the best parts for me were taking in the breathtaking views and the sense of achievement at the end. I was so impressed by everyone’s determination – particularly on Day 2. I was especially impressed by Maxine Allington from our Bicester office as she completed the walk in a pair of £2 pumps after her walking boots pinched too much a few miles in.
I feel very proud of everyone for not only completing the walk, but doing so well. The only trouble is that I’ve been bitten by the bug and want to do more; the very next day I was researching other long distance routes to complete! I am also really pleased with the £1,571.81 we raised – far more than we had hoped for – and we are grateful to every single person for donating. It goes to show what you can achieve with determination and perseverance!”